Maham Riaz (November 2, 2015)
Most customers find it convenient to check business hours, make reservations and inquire about products over the phone. Voicemail, therefore can turn out be a useful business tool and this is the reason businesses need to keep their voicemail active and up to date. Whether you own a restaurant, a retail shop or a small business, customers would be calling to seek the required information. Having a voicemail greeting that is welcoming and engaging can benefit your business and customer relationships. Interactive customer communication is the key to achieving brand loyalty and smartly using your voicemail for active communication with your customers can help you with improving customer experience. Many businesses overlook the importance of voicemail and end up creating a bad brand image for their customers (not updating their greeting message, business hours and other information), here are five ideas on utilizing this tool for proactive customer communication!
The first tip for making your voicemail worthwhile is to change your voicemail greeting at regular intervals. Instead of using canned recorded messages, add a human element to your voicemail, it should give your customers a gesture that you are happy to hear from them. Change the voicemail greeting weekly and if that’s not possible, do it biweekly or monthly. Your message should have all the updated information regarding your business hours. If you are planning to make any changes to your trading hours, update your customers via voicemail. Keep the message short, simple and useful so that your customers feel that they have been properly facilitated.
There would be new customers wanting to know about your products, where you are located and what is the best time to reach you, voicemail can be used to enlighten your customers regarding the primary and most sought after business information. You can make a list of frequently asked customer questions and use voicemail to answer them briefly, it would offer your new and existing customers valuable information without having to contact a CSR. New and small businesses can make the most of voicemail as a tool for proactively engaging their customers and providing them vital information about their business without involving any formal processes.
Voicemail can be utilized for updating your customers about an upcoming holiday or an impending service issue. If for instance, you are running a restaurant and all your staff wants to take off on New Year’s Eve, you can update this information via voicemail. It would save the customers time and trouble who would want to make reservations in your restaurant on New Year’s Night. Similarly, if there is a service issue at your end, a technical hitch or lack of resources during a particular time, you can inform your customers beforehand via voicemail. Customers always prefer a business that reaches out to them proactively and voicemail can serve as a valuable business communication tool for you.
Businesses can smartly market their upcoming products/service through voicemail. You can inform your customers about new promotions, discount deals and sales through voicemail recording, however make sure that you do it smartly. A customer would not spare five minutes to listen to a marketing voicemail message, so the marketing part should be minimum, not more than a two liner and it should come in the middle or end of the voicemail message. Calling your customers with a voicemail ad is also not a good strategy, instead you should use your voicemail recording for this purpose. Customers calling to inquire about your business hours, location or how soon they will be contacted are likely to show interest in your new products/promotions.
Voicemail service has been used by many businesses to get customer feedback. Getting focused feedback through voicemail is easy and since customers only have to press a few buttons they find it convenient to rate a business on the phone. Questions like “How did you find our Product/Service” is a basic one but many customers don’t bother answering it because of the long set of questions that are attached to this one in a survey questionnaire. You can conveniently get rating for your product/service from your customers via voicemail. Hence, voicemail if used smartly can serve as a valuable business communication tool that can help you with improving your customer service.
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